Routine: Grand Master Flash Tutorial (1983)

In 1983, Grand Master Flash was making history and paving the way for the future of turntablism. Grand Master Flash pioneered the way for DJs and innovated numerous techniques. Today we have an antique routine that doubles as a fun tutorial from the master himself. Grand Master Flash demonstrates what the whole world wants to know, “What is a break mix?” Break out your notebook and watch how to do a break mix below.

Key Concepts and Definitions

The trick to executing a proper break mix is a lot more than just scratching and moving the cross fader left to right. There are specific moves that need to be performed at specific times with in the mix. Grand Master Flash touches on these specific phases and techniques:

Scratch Phase – Manipulate the record by moving the wrist back and forth, on the beat. (2:00)

Silent Phase – Manipulate the record like the scratch phase, on beat, but with small pauses in between. (2:20)

Meliodic Scratch – Scratching a specific rhythm and speed at the same time of the beat. (2:45)

The Grand Master Crossover – A quick cut from record to record with slight scratching, on time, all the time. (3:15)

And here is a final word from Grand Master Flash,

“For the people that paid their hard earned money to come into the disco techs, I don’t think it is totally fair, really, to just start a record from the beginning and wait for it to end to mix the next one in. I mean, you’re not doing no work. If you are going to do work, do work.

Grand Master Flash pioneered the way for DJs by taking a risk and trying something new. Take a risk when you’re mixing and try to create your own techniques. As technology evolves, there will always be room for innovation. If there is a new technique or routine you want to share with us, you can always suggest an article.

Interested in mixing on vinyl like Grand Master Flash? Check out the new Pioneer PLX-1000 in the DJTT store.

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Comments (25)
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  • IW

    people forget flash started on belt drive too

  • Clark

    Shh, I’m trying to listen to the ‘Silent Phase’!

  • Cwithe

    the story about Vintage Vinyl and controllers, is a bit boring – before trousers they wear skirts

  • Is

    I don’t think I would got into djing if that would of been my introduction… Lol. Thank god for the x-men and invisible scratch piklz.

    • Darrin Bisson

      you should know that xmen and ISP would say thank god for Grand Master Flash. you wouldn’t have their advanced turntablism without GMF.

      • Is

        I don’t bout that, I personally know mista sinista, and he use to laugh his ass off at how wack oldskool dj’s were, I’m just saying…

        • DJoldschool

          Compared with the modern turntablist they are pretty wack. But – they had no DVS, no scratch tools, no magnetic/adjustable faders, no Ortofon scratch cartridges, etc.. You HAVE to know where an art form comes from to truly understand it.

          • Is

            DJ’s in the late 80’s early 90’s ain’t have none of that shit either, matter fact they had the same exact tools as the pioneers did, but the level of skill just elevated. I see oldskool dj’s performing till this day, and that shit just makes me cringe…

          • John Durbin

            The verbal lack of respect here epitomizes the entitlement generation. Your ability to elevate the art at this particular moment in time is the only thing that can provide redemption. So how are you elevating it?

          • Is

            Ain’t no sense of entitlement going on here, I just call it how I see it. And i elevate the culture by calling wack shit when I see it.

          • John Durbin

            Since when did opinions become actions?

          • DJ TeeOh "The Official"

            For the era, it wasn’t whack. You comparing old school to the now, is like comparing the Model T to a Ferrari. Without the old school there would be no new school. You have zero respect for heritage. I can guarantee someone would sit up today and call YOU whack. Not 30 years later, i’m talking right NOW to your face. You think because you came along decades later that you are better? These guys were CREATING the stuff you now use. I live near and have worked with Flash, for you to disrespect like this he would call you out and laugh because you are merely his SON. He gave birth to you and billions of DJs.

          • Is

            People like you are the reason cultures die out.

          • DJ TeeOh "The Official"

            Don’t feed the trolls homie.

          • DJ TeeOh "The Official"

            I’m positive if you posted a video right now, people reading this post would cringe. Stop acting like you are Qbert or even 1/10th as good.

        • DJ TeeOh "The Official"

          What’s your name? I’ll call and ask him. I’m absolutely certain Sinista would never bash anyone like that.

          • Is

            My name is get off DEEZ nuts.

          • D3RKIN

            Bedroom DJs need to learn respect! If you setup the same equipment could you do better? If so post a video…..

  • Pretti Uneek

    I like that “If you are going to do work, then do work”.

  • Fischer

    Skills!! Makes me want to go practice a routine on my old school collection! I hope more videos like this surface. These are what made DJing so Next level to me when I was a kid.

  • andreimatei

    So cool. Thank you for posting this.

  • Guest

    If you are going to do work,